What are demographic survey questions?

Demographic survey questions are usually a part of market research or market segmentation surveys that give survey creators insights into respondents’ age, gender or marital status. Demographic information can provide details about users that other question types might fail to achieve. This way, marketers can conduct focused and reliable survey research which will provide filtered responses from their target audience.

While curating an online survey, it’s important to include a few demographic questions irrespective of the core matter of the survey. These questions should be in line with the purpose of the survey and should be catalyzing in the process of receiving detailed information from respondents. Acute understanding of the type of demographic questions that correspond to a survey being conducted is pivotal to get into the nerve of customer feedback and opinions. These questions are used in surveys also to enable survey creators to establish a comparison between two or more different sections of demographics.

For example, if you’re surveying school children, you are highly unlikely to be asking questions about qualifications or marital status or information about kids etc.

Demographic survey questions are easily created using multiple choice questions within a few minutes. A few demographic survey question examples can be related to age, ethnicity, gender, marital status, basic qualifications, employment, household income and other such parameters.

7 Demographic survey questions for questionnaire:

1.Related to age: This is the first question that comes to mind when we talk about demographics. According to the accuracy of options, you can offer broad or narrow ranges for all answers. Ideally, age-related demographic answer options must be shown as radio buttons. Answer options do not overlap each other, i.e range mentioned in each of the options has to be unique.   

  • What is your age? (Broad range)
    • Under 18
    • 18-24
    • 25-34
    • 35-44
    • 45-54
    • Above 54
  • What is your current age? (Narrow range)
    • 18-20
    • 21-22
    • 23-25
    • 26-28
    • 28-30

2. Related to race and ethnicity: Race and ethnicity are two distinct parameters that need to be mentioned separately to get customer inputs. Race refers to characteristics of physical appearance while ethnicity refers to cultures, historical roots and also geography. These are highly sensitive questions which need special attention. Provide check boxes which would allow respondents to choose multiple options if they wish to. Questions related to ethnicity will be:

  1. “Are you of Spanish or Latino origin?” which will usually be a Yes/No radio button. This question will be followed by a question on race.
  2. What would best describe you?
  • African American
  • Asian
  • Native American
  • White
  • Others

3. Related to gender or sex: These questions are as sensitive as questions on race and ethnicity. There are 2 ways in which these questions can be asked:

  • Keep them open-ended and make it easier for respondents to comment about their sex.
    • Gender?
  • Be respectful towards the thoughts that respondents might have regarding gender and ask questions about them in a subtle manner.
  • Which gender do you identify most with?
    • Male
    • Female
    • I would prefer to not comment

4. Related to qualification: This is a very subjective question which needs prior evaluation such as, understanding whether a lot of colleges or school students may take your survey and will this feedback on qualification be of good use to you. After analyzing these factors, add demographic questions on qualification such as:

  • What is your highest qualification?
    • Less than high school diploma
    • High school diploma or equivalent degree
    • No degree
    • Bachelor’s degree
    • Master’s degree

5. Related to marital status: Relationships revolving around love are often considered to be less important than questions about race, ethnicity or sex. But, they’re sometimes far more complicated and need to tackled carefully too. Thus, a deep-rooted analysis must go into whether the fact that someone is married or not would hamper the purpose of a survey. If it’s extremely critical to know the marital status of a respondent, only then should you include this demographic survey question. In case would want to segment your target audience on this basis, you must curate questions in this manner:

  • What is your marital status?
    • Married
    • Divorced
    • Separated
    • Widowed
    • Unmarried

6. Related to employment: This type of demographic question can include various sub-sections such as the number of hours worked, type of employment, type of employer and other parameters like these. The most common classification of options is simply whether the respondent is employed or not.

  • What is your current employment status?
    • Full-time employment
    • Part-time employment
    • Unemployed
    • Self-employed
    • Home-maker
    • Student
    • Retired

In case respondents inform that they’re employed, you can apply skip logic to eliminate options which aren’t applicable and also include options that might provide further insights about their job.

7. Related to family income: This question type is very similar to age demographic question. It depends on what would you use this information for and in what detail would you want to receive these inputs. Here’s an example of family income demographic question:

  • Which income group does your household fall under?
    • Less than $20,000
    • $21,000 – $30,000
    • $31,000 to $40,000
    • $41,000 to $50,000
    • $51,000 to $60,000
    • Above $60,000

Learn about: Geographic Segmentation

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